Matter of State of New York v Connor

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Matter of State of New York v Connor 2015 NY Slip Op 09765 Decided on December 31, 2015 Appellate Division, Fourth Department Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431. This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.

Decided on December 31, 2015 SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department
PRESENT: SMITH, J.P., PERADOTTO, LINDLEY, WHALEN, AND DEJOSEPH, JJ.
1407 CA 14-00654

[*1]IN THE MATTER OF STATE OF NEW YORK, PETITIONER-RESPONDENT,

v

FRANK CONNOR, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.



CHARLES J. GREENBERG, AMHERST, FOR RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.

ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN, ATTORNEY GENERAL, ALBANY (KATHLEEN M. ARNOLD OF COUNSEL), FOR PETITIONER-RESPONDENT.



Appeal from an order of the Supreme Court, Orleans County (James P. Punch, A.J.), entered March 11, 2014 in a proceeding pursuant to Mental Hygiene Law article 10. The order, inter alia, committed respondent to a secure treatment facility.

It is hereby ORDERED that the order so appealed from is unanimously affirmed without costs.

Memorandum: Respondent appeals from an order pursuant to Mental Hygiene Law article 10 determining, following a jury trial, that he is a detained sex offender who has a mental abnormality within the meaning of Mental Hygiene Law § 10.03 (i) and determining, following a dispositional hearing, that he is a dangerous sex offender requiring confinement in a secure treatment facility. We reject respondent's contention that the verdict is against the weight of the evidence. Here, petitioner's two expert psychologists testified that respondent suffered from a mental abnormality, and although respondent's expert testified to the contrary, " [t]he jury verdict is entitled to great deference based on the jury's opportunity to evaluate the weight and credibility of conflicting expert testimony' " (Matter of State of New York v Gierszewski, 81 AD3d 1473, 1474, lv denied 17 NY3d 702; see Matter of State of New York v Parrott, 125 AD3d 1438, 1439, lv denied 25 NY3d 911). Upon our review of the record, we conclude that "the evidence does not preponderate[] so greatly in [respondent's] favor that the jury could not have reached its conclusion on any fair interpretation of the evidence" (Gierszewski, 81 AD3d at 1474 [internal quotation marks omitted]). Contrary to respondent's further contention, we conclude that petitioner established by clear and convincing evidence at the dispositional hearing that he is a dangerous sex offender requiring confinement (see §§ 10.03 [e]; 10.07 [f]). "Supreme Court, as the trier of fact, was in the best position to evaluate the weight and credibility of the conflicting [psychological] testimony presented . . . , and we see no basis to disturb its decision to credit the testimony of petitioner's expert over that of respondent's expert" (Matter of State of New York v Gooding, 104 AD3d 1282, 1282, lv denied 21 NY3d 862 [internal quotation marks omitted]).

Entered: December 31, 2015

Frances E. Cafarell

Clerk of the Court